Hugo Urban Rules – the urban music initiative endorsed by HUGO Fragrances to uncover and invests in new talent- has found a new star. Following two days of intensive master classes and auditions at Sankeys on the 4th and 5th June, the luck finalist received expert tuition on: Vocal coaching, Stage-craft, Artist and industry Q&A sessions.
For those of you who still don’t know, Hugo Urban Rules is a nationwide initiative set up to invest in new UK talent. Each year national rounds are held in London, Birmingham and Manchester – where budding artists showcase their talents to a panel of industry experts. After several rounds the contestants are whittled down to three (this year four as the talent was off the hook).
The west-London singer and MC Estelle was also in Manchester on Thursday 5th June to help choose the lucky winner. This years panelist comprised of the some of the most powerful members of the US and UK music industry – Steve Sutherland – Galaxy Fm, Mervyn Lyn – VP and A&R of Sony BMG and Myles Keller of PRS Alliance; who were later joined by the delightful Sabrina– formally of Mis-Teeq.
Hosted by the ever charismatic Twin B of BBC 1-Extra, proceedings started with a Q&A session with: Steve Sutherland, Mervyn Lyn and Myles Keller. The audience were then treated another Q&A from the gorgeous Sabrina and the ever nonchalant Estelle.
Out of the staggering 300 artists who entered their material, fourteen were picked to attend the workshop on the 4th of June, they were then whittled down to four finalists, who battled it out in front of the all star panel on the 5th; in hope of winning the grand prize – a professionally produced and released single and the chance to warm up for Estelle at the exclusive HUGO concert of the evening at Manchester’s Sankey’s Soap.
The panel chose 20 year old vocalist Meleka, from Chesham, Bucks, as this year’s winner. Estelle was impressed by her vocals, lyrical content and confidence on stage quoting, “The talent at Hugo Urban Rules was incredibly strong, and although it’s a tough decision to choose just one, I felt that Meleka was the right winner. She has loads of natural talent that can be developed. It’s so encouraging to see new talent like her come through and it was great to meet so many other gifted young performers of the future”.
Meleka left audiences gagging for more when she performed at the private showcase event later that evening. Sabrina Washington then treated the wanton crowed to some of her new solo material followed by Estelle who pulled out all the stops, confidently delivering an intimate set to the 500 strong crowd of supporters – what a star.
For those of you who weren’t fortunate enough to be there, MTV Base will be screening the event at 7pm on 6th July.
For more information visit: www.hugofragrances.com/urbanrules. Whilst online, you can also request free samples from the HUGO Fragrance Collections. Maybe next time you could be one of the lucky 500 music fans invited to attend the next exclusive event – where you will receive a complimentary drink and a goody bag containing Hugo Fragrances.